There are many dance floor options. While dance floors may look the same, there are characteristics that make floors different. One floor may be more suitable for your style of dance than others, which is why it is important to determine which kind of floor is best for the way you move. You can do this by considering the coefficient of friction—or the ease with which you can move across the floor.
What Is The Coefficient Of Friction?
Friction plays a role in dance floor surfaces. When you are doing transitional steps across the floor, performing a pirouette, or working on Grand Allegro, there is a certain amount of friction or resistance between the floor and dancer. The coefficient of friction (CoE) is how much energy it takes to move across a surface. If there is a low coefficient of friction (called a fast floor), you need less energy to move.
A floor with a high coefficient of friction—often referred to as slow—is going to require more energy to turn. By pirouetting on a faster floor, it is easier to generate the turn. However, there is also concern with dancing on a floor with a low coefficient of friction. The less surface friction, the greater the chance of going off balance.
Finding The Floor For Your Dance Style
Some types of dance prefer faster or slower floors. Dancers who are barefoot for modern or jazz prefer floors that allow for a little more slide. Too much friction on the sole of the foot is uncomfortable. For tap, on the other hand, a shuffle step will be easier on a faster floor and harder on a slower floor. Fortunately, there are few dance floors that are not suitable for multipurpose applications.
Multipurpose dance floors will be suitable for ballet, modern, tap, contemporary, and many other popular forms. You can also find floors that are specific to a style of dance, such as tap or ballroom.
Take a moment to consider what styles of dance you do. Ballet requires more friction, tap less. Contemporary and hip-hop need a smooth surface, somewhere in the middle.
Which Floor Is Right For Your Dance Style?
Stagestep has a range of floors for a variety of applications. You can find the floor with the right coefficient of friction to suit your dancers or company. Here is a list of their characteristics:
- Rave™: a slow floor for ballet and contemporary. You should not use Rave for tap class.
- Quietstep™: Specifically designed for ballet, but you can also use this floor for modern and jazz. Quietstep is moderately slow.
- Timestep™ or Timestep T™: This floor tends to be on the faster side and is great for most dance types. It may be a touch too fast for ballet. Ballroom can use Timestep floors.
- Super Timestep™: The slowest floor offered by Stagestep. Super Timestep is for all kinds of dance, especially for ballet and pointe.
- Super Bravo™, Bravo Pro™, and Bravo Classic™: These multipurpose floors are ideal for contemporary, modern, and ballet. Super Bravo Pro can also be used for tap class.
- Dancestep Plus™: Made with a foam backing, Dancestep Plus is slower, making it ideal for a full range of dance styles– except for tap or ballroom.
- Woodstep Plus™ and Woodstep Ultra™: These floors tend to have a lower coefficient of friction than, making Woodstep Plus great for multipurpose, but not for tap or ballroom applications.
- Encore™ and Encore Elite™: Both versions of Encore are faster floor options. Made from wood, these floors are suitable for tap, modern, jazz, and ballroom dancing. These floors can be treated with Floorshield II finish to increase coefficient of friction.
The chart below depicts how slow or fast Stagestep floors are with a scale of 1 through 10. The higher the number, the faster the floor.
|Dance Floor Name
|Slow or Fast Rating
Adjusting The Coefficient Of Friction
If you find your floor has too much or too little friction, there are ways to change it. Start by keeping your floor clean and free of dirt and other substances. When a floor is slippery or sticky in spots, it is often because there is something on it, such as body lotion or perspiration. Be sure to clean your floor regularly and use ProClean NS™ from Stagestep. ProClean NS (Non-Slip) was designed to remove grime from your dance floors and increases the coefficient of friction. There is also FloorShield II, a finish for both vinyl and wooden floors.
Buffing the floors with a white pad and floor machine will remove the textured surface from floors that are not smooth, thereby making the floor faster.
You should also consider the environment. Dancers complaining that the floor is too sticky and keeping them from turning? Try keeping the humidity around 50% and the temperature between 60-80 degrees. Avoid turning off the heat or air conditioning overnight, if possible, as that can affect the coefficient of friction. High humidity may require a dehumidifier.
There are many kinds of dance floors. Choosing the right floor for your dance studio, company, or event may require the assistance of a professional. If you need assistance, give Stagestep a call at 800-523-0960. Our team can help you narrow down your options and get the perfect floor for your needs. You can also refer to our latest Dance Flooring Guide for more information.